A BRAVE volunteer who spent her childhood caring for her loving mum now faces the fight of her life as she battles bone cancer at the age of 15.

Teenager Ellen Houghton, who has generously dedicated her time to help at Warrington Disability Partnership since the age of 12, is currently recovering in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool after enduring an intense dose of chemotherapy last week.

As she battles the devastating disease, Ellen’s mum Michelle Houghton has bravely opened up about the moment their world came crashing down following the shock diagnosis earlier this year.

“She is just a normal girl who goes to school every day and rarely has a day off,” said the 44-year-old, from Burtonwood.

“It just shows how something dreadful like this can happen to anyone.

“She was quite strong about it but I was breaking down all the time.  The chemo has knocked her for six.”

The Great Sankey High School pupil first started to struggle with a knee problem after she fell during a PE lesson in October.

At first it was believed the pain in her knee was caused by a tweaked cartilage and the 15-year-old started a course of painkillers.

But as the pain mounted, Ellen and her mum requested an MRI scan.

Three weeks after the scan, the family were told the heart-breaking news that Ellen has osteosarcoma in her knee – a rare type of bone cancer.

“They are hoping to shrink the tumour, then she will need to have a knee replacement in August and then another 10 weeks of chemo after that,” said Michelle, who is now a grandma to her eldest daughter Lauren’s child Bentley. 

“She has been very poorly. She has been sick and is so weak – she can’t even lift herself up.”

Now the family dream of taking Ellen away on a once-in-a-lifetime trip once the treatment is over and have called on the public to help.

“She has not had much of a childhood so that’s why we have decided to do this for her,” said Michelle.

“When I was about 35 I suffered two broken hips and she looked after me from the age of eight.

“She washed and dressed me and did all the washing and cooking. She didn’t complain. 

“Ellen used to say ‘I can’t go out with my friends because I need to look after my mum’.

“Now this has happened to her it’s just cruel.”

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